David felt disappointment collapse in his chest, a trickling that turned quickly to what felt like a gushing of blood in his chest cavity. It was physical, this reaction, it was sickening. Could she be persuaded to see someone else? And why did it matter, anyway, on the night he performed? Why had she come at all if that was the case? Questions crowded in on him, distorting the frequency of his mind.
‘He was there..’ she continued.
‘You seemed to be alone..’
‘Yes, that’s right..because..he’s married..we are..discreet…’
‘Is that ok for you?’ David asked, seeking to find a way in to her and past her current situation. Perhaps she could be persuaded to leave her current enamorata, to think afresh about what she was looking for in a man…to prefer a..single.. man.
‘It has to be.. he’s my boss…’ she finished.
The person she was frightened of seeing now. Her boss had been at the gig. Which one was he? David tried to remember who was there, how many men were on their own that night. Practically none. Most comedy fans stalk in packs, and he used his terms advisedly. Then it suddenly hit him with the force of pure dread. He recognized her voice. He’d heard it only the day before, making his appointment.
Schaden/Lisa was watching him carefully, seeing his thought processes as clearly as she would had he articulated them.
‘That’s right,’ she said, ‘Andrew…now..you see why I am around the comedy community on the internet..and why I was…reluctant..to meet you..no matter how much I liked you?’
‘Fucking hell!’ David exclaimed, just as the waitress put their soups down at the table. He looked up at the girl sheepishly, ‘Sorry.’
The waitress smiled at him, shrugged and walked away. David looked back at Schaden.
‘Fucking hell!’ he said again.
‘I’m sorry,’ Schaden continued, ‘I should have told you before, but I so enjoyed our conversations on line..you are so much more funny and insightful and intelligent than the others..sometimes I thought I was drowning in this bloody world..like I’d never find a like mind..’
‘I know the feeling!’ David agreed, ‘I felt the same, finding you. Most of those people are just…stupid..’
‘Yes! Yes! And you can play with them so well, you know..and its just..pearls before swine…’
‘A waste of good material!’
‘Exactly..so I wanted to keep talking with you..and to keep the communication..and I was worried if you knew who I worked for and what I am to him..it might scare you off…I know he’s offered to represent you. He’s very good. You won’t get better representation … but it just made all this..tricky.’
‘He’s married Lisa,’ David argued, ‘He’s hardly in a position to object to you having lunch with another man!’
‘Yes, but his moral vision isn’t that..objective David. You know that, surely, already? And he’s very jealous..he’s very possessive.. he’s threatened other men around me, and that’s ones he has no other hold over.. with you, it’s more sensitive.. it’s more difficult.. so you can see why I was so… distant.. so careful.. so elusive?’
‘I can, I can, and I appreciate it. But I’m big enough and ugly enough to look after myself.. well, not that big and not that ugly..but you know what I mean!’
They laughed together.
‘He can’t ever know, that’s all..’ Lisa said, cautioning, ‘That’s all. We have to be careful and discrete..with..whatever..we … become..’
David felt a rush of erotic excitement and promise. While he supposed Andrew might be the type to be threatened even over friendship, it seemed she hinted at far more interesting and intimate possibilities. It was a delightful thought.
And you’d have that over Andrew, and he wouldn’t even know, said Voice, and you’d love that!
Shutup Voice, David thought.
‘We can do that..’ he agreed, ‘We can do that..’
‘Because I don’t want to lose you David..not now I’ve found you. I’ve never met anyone like you before..’
David glowed. ‘Nor I you,’ he agreed, ‘Nor I you.’
(c) Helen M Valentina 2015, All Rights Reserved